2011 Fantasy Football Strategy: Calculating Character Risk

Ken KellyContributor IIIMay 12, 2011

Brandon Marshall is a likely candidate for "The Rule of 1.5."
Brandon Marshall is a likely candidate for "The Rule of 1.5."Marc Serota/Getty Images

Character is a big factor you need to use when building a team at the dynasty level or even in a redraft fantasy football league. It’s one of the biggest factors we at DLF use when evaluating players and prospects. This article is designed to give you a simple rule of thumb on how to use character as an evaluation tool. There’s a simple question you need to ask yourself.

How important is it to you to have players with perceived high moral standards?

We’re obviously die-hard dynasty league players here at DLF. When a player we own goes haywire and gets in trouble with the law, many of us take it personally. We spend so much time on this that we hate to see strategic advantages we’ve worked hard to create disappear in one night with a drug charge, a dog killing spree or a pistol going off in someone’s sweatpants.

If you don’t feel a personal connection to your players, and are only in it for financial gain or the thrill of victory, this likely doesn’t come into play as much. In the end, fantasy football and especially dynasty leagues are about competitive advantages and strategic maneuvering. If you can remove human emotion, it’s likely a tool you can use to your advantage. You still need to be very smart about how much risk you take on.

The rule of thumb we use is something we call “the rule of 1.5.”

First, you take your existing positional dynasty rankings and number each player from number one and beyond. These rankings need to be unbiased and as complete and current as possible. If you don’t have these made, shame has come down on you from us. You should always have this ready to use for trades and evaluations.

For players marked with character concerns, take your existing positional rankings and multiply them by 1.5. For example, if you have Brandon Marshall at No. 5, you could use the formula and multiply 5x1.5 for a total of 7.5. Marshall is now somewhere between No. 7 and No. 8 on your wide receiver list. If you could trade him straight up for a player at No. 7 or No. 8, we’d advise doing it.  From every position list, it’s up to you on who you want to indicate as “character concern.”

There are lots of different things to factor in when making that decision. At times, we’ve even tiered the severity of rankings punishment based on the amount of risk up to 2.0 or even 2.25.  The simple “rule of 1.5” is a great start for a rookie coach or a veteran coach looking for a way to quantify risk. Failure to accurately account in some way for character can be a death sentence for your team.

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Dynasty Mock Draft with new rookies included

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Teams Capsules for all 32 NFL Teams
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Commissioner Advice Column
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